Friday, January 02, 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009

Today’s text

Matthew 2:7-12

Then Herod summoned the wise men to see him privately. He asked them the exact date on which the star had appeared and sent them on to Bethlehem with the words, 'Go and find out all about the child, and when you have found him, let me know, so that I too may go and do him homage.' Having listened to what the king had to say, they set out. And suddenly the star they had seen rising went forward and halted over the place where the child was. The sight of the star filled them with delight, and going into the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and falling to their knees they did him homage. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. But they were given a warning in a dream not to go back to Herod, and returned to their own country by a different way.


The eternal conflict continues, Jesus, and I am in the middle of it.

The wise come, seeking to know and be made new by your appearing. But those holding the reins of power seek you only to destroy you and the seeds of newness you plant in the earth’s dusty soil.

So it goes. You come, seeking to born in us again that shoots of truly new life may emerge from amid the dusty decades of our living. But the powers that rule our souls resist their overthrow.

Something in us prefers to keep all things as they are, instead of watering the seeds of the soul from which you grow.

Your growth means change; a change in habits, attitudes, joys and sorrows, in how I speak and use my time. It means becoming a new person, a new soul centered in the joyous growth of the seed of your life in soil of our souls.

Old routines, long engrained, having worn deep ruts in our souls pull us back by the gravity of habit into the selves in which we are stuck. They don’t easily release their grip.

But we have been again to the manger. We have seen your face. The light of eternity has warmed our cheeks and hearts and excited our minds with unexpected possibilities. Something new was awakened, a hope that our lives can be more, more gracious, more purposeful, more holy and joyful, more of you than normally they are.

I want this more, now and all year long. So let me be as wise as the seekers who came bearing gifts.

They did not try to defeat your enemy. They went away from him to savor what they had seen and to contemplate the awakening of mind and heart that had happened for them at your infant bed.

So I will launch no assault on the ruts and habits that resist the seed of your newness in my soul. I can no more overcome them than the wise man could unseat Herod.

I will go another way. I will avoid the destroyers who resist your newness. I will go to those places where best I can remember what I have seen and heard, where I remember what it was like to look at you so closely again, where I can hear your voice in my depths:

‘Behold I make all things new, even you.’

I will savor your voice and every moment of newness and joy in which I know freedom from my sad, old self. For you are making me new, finally at 56, into the soul I might have been long before.

But I know nothing is lost. Nothing. All that I am, even the sad and troubled years, will be graced and given back, to become a gift of your great loving.

Pr. David L. Miller

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